Cultural Resources

Cultural Resources Section Information

Cultural Resources Section Duties

The Cultural Resource Section (CRS) helps the NDDOT, as an applicant for federal funds and approvals, in compliance needed to address the National Historic Preservation Act process in consultation with the FHWA.

The CRS consults with SHPO and works with FHWA to consult with the regional THPOs/tribes. CRS completes identification efforts, reviews consultant reports on cultural resource surveys, works with others to assess effects, and follows through with any needed resolution of adverse effects. When appropriate, and we believe there is potential for exposure of previously unidentified significant resources or burials, we work to ensure monitoring of construction. If burials are exposed during construction of NDDOT projects we follow the ND State Burial Law or NAGPRA.

CRS also works on identification and avoidance of significant cultural resources on our material source locations, staging areas, and access roads related to this work.

NDDOT works closely with regional tribes to identify their concerns in regard to cultural resources of value to them. We have a Programmatic Agreement with the tribes that defines our consultation process that has been designed to foster relationships of trust and respect, and bring them into the NHPA Section 106 process as partners. Note that our identification and reporting requirements are in the Design Manual.

Contact Staff

Section 106 Review and Compliance

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires that federal agencies take into account the effects of their activities on historic properties. Historic properties include sites, districts, objects, or structures that are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

A NDDOT project requires a section 106 review if it has:

  • Federal funding,
  • Uses the FHWA NEPA Process with resulting approvals
  • Takes place on federal or Indian/tribal land.

Cultural Resources Issues in the Design Manual: Chapter II

Programmatic Agreement for Tribal Consultation

This document is the result of discussions during consultation between the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Tribes identified within agreement.

If you find cultural resources during a NDDOT project

For projects where we believe the potential for discoveries is likely, the Cultural Resource Section (CRS) puts a Discovery Plan in-place prior to construction. If you have a Discovery situation and a Discovery Plan is in-place, follow the procedures outlined in the plan. If you are unsure what to do, the following would always be appropriate:

  • If you have a discovery situation:
    • STOP - Protect the discovery and contact Cultural Resources Section at phone number or email address above.
  • If you discover a burial:
    • STOP - Protect the burial and contact Cultural Resources Section at phone number or email address above.
    • NOTE: The ND State burial law has strict time and reporting requirements. It is imperative that your notification to the NDDOT CRS be prompt and that the burial is well protected.

Avoidance of Cultural Resource Sites (CRS)

  • Check the plans for environmental commitments! If there are unevaluated or eligible sites on your project commitments may document the need to fence these resources during construction to ensure avoidance. Check with Cultural Resources Section to clarify if you have any questions regarding commitments.
  • Material source avoidance measures shall be strictly enforced
  • Standard Fending Procedures
    • Steel fence posts
    • Snow fence (unless otherwise documented through CRS contact)
    • On Projects Districts should coordinate fencing with CRS
    • On Material Sources Contractor and/or District should coordinate fencing with CRS
    • CRS must be present during fencing activities
    • Fencing will not be removed until all construction/extraction activities have been completed.

Historic Bridge Map

Historic Bridge Videos

Most of these videos were made as mitigation for removal of these historic bridges.

Liberty Memorial Bridge - Bismarck

This video documents the original Liberty Memorial Bridge which was built throughout 1921 and dedicated in September of 1922. It was a Warren-Turner through truss bridge. NDDOT produced this video intending it be used for educational purposes. The video discusses and portrays the history and context of our historic bridges in North Dakota with Liberty Memorial Bridge as the centerpiece.

Four Bears Bridge - New Town

This video was produced as part of the NDDOT’s effort to mitigate the adverse effects under the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106 Process related to removal of this historic bridge; the Second Four Bears Bridge. The second Four Bears Bridge was built in 1953 and used the original Four Bears Bridge as its center. This Warren through truss bridge was connected to deck truss bridges on either side to create a bridge 4,483 feet in length. The first Four Bears Bridge was a 4 span Warren through truss built in 1934.

Four Bears Bridge - It's History and Construction

Crossing the Water - An Oral History of the Four Bears Bridge

The four videos below include an oral history of the Mandan, Hidasta, Arikara Nation (MHAN) relative to lifeway at the time of the Elbowwoods Four Bears Bridge, A History of Life on the Water, documenting the second Four Bears Bridge west of New Town over Lake Sakakawea, and the construction of the new and third Four Bears Bridge.

Rainbow Arch Bridge - Valley City

This video documents the construction of the new Marsh Arch Bridge in Valley City. As part of mitigation for removal of the original Marsh Arch (Rainbow Arch) Bridge, the NDDOT constructed a new Marsh Arch bridge. The original patented bridge was used to upscale the bridge to fit current transportation needs. Valley City has the only new Marsh Arch bridge in the nation. While modern materials were used in our new Rainbow Arch Bridge, the techniques to construct the bridge borrowed from the past.